Filming Interviews on the C300
The Canon C300 is the perfect talking head interview camera. Quick to use, beautiful imagery and a high dynamic range making it brilliant to work with in all light conditions. The above image presents a typical problem when shooting in offices, light. With a large window behind the contributor (here it’s our soundman standing in) and the sun in and out, lighting is difficult. This brings us onto one of the downsides of the C300, you can’t smoothly change the aperture while shooting. This means that if there is a change in the lighting whist recording, you have to stop and start again, not brilliant.
For all the interviews here we were using two LED panel lights from batteries. These batteries really impressed me as the lasted nearly all day, making moving the lights very easy. We were also using a large reflector as a fill.
The Eye Line
It’s really important in interviews to have made the decision about the eye line of the contributor. Typically, and as above, the eye line falls just off the camera. Here the lady being interviewed is looking at the lady with the sheet of paper, and the camera is looking over her shoulder. This gives the informal, relaxed look on camera and has the added benefit of making the contributor feel more relaxed. If the contributor looks down the lens then it has the effect that they are not being interviewed by somebody there, and that they are talking directly to the viewer, making eye contact with them.
Sound is always an issue on location. For shoots like this it is essential to have a professional sound recordist on location. In an active office there is always external noise, and the soundman will help to eliminate as much of this as possible. When filming for broadcast TV crews can get away with being a bit forceful to get the environment exactly how they need it. In corporate video this is not the case, you can’t intrude into the office as people have to work!